Total applications have steadily risen as each company diversifies its research activities, with annual combined applications nearing 10,000 in 2013. Among other things, we'll be looking at:
Microsoft and Google filed the most patents overall: Microsoft has applied for over 16,800 patents since 2009, with second-place Google applying for more than 14,500. Apple was in 3rd and Amazon 4th, with Facebook lagging significantly behind.
Apple lags Google patents in artificial intelligence: Microsoft leads the pack with over 200 AI-related patent applications since 2009, while Google patents surpass 150. Apple, criticized for being slow on the draw in this field, comes in last.
Google patents drive innovation in auto: Not surprisingly, Google is tops in vehicle patents, but Apple is in second and Amazon is in a not too-distant third place.
Microsoft dominates AR/VR innovation: Microsoft has a sizable lead over the other big 5 tech companies in AR/VR related patent applications.